To be playful and serious at the same time is possible, and it defines the ideal mental condition. Absence of dogmatism and prejudice, presence of intellectual curiosity and flexibility, are manifest in the free play of the mind upon a topic
Dewey, 1910, p. 162
The value of playfulness is underestimated. It is not only about amusement, humor or entertainment. Playfulness is an essential 'mental condition' that makes us look at the world more openly and freely. It supports us in our flow when we learn.

That's why I make tools for playful learning; tools that support children and adults in professional or informal learning processes.

On this page you will find a part of my work:
  • Game about Trust (by MGvanderMeij)
  • Delta game (by MGvanderMeij & Martien Versteegh)
  • Sam the Waterman (by MGvanderMeij & Co)
  • Frame Reflection Lab (in collaboration with VU Athena)
  • Opinion Lab (in collaboration with VU Athena)

In my view, learning and reflection should ideally look like this.....
Stacks Image 114

Game about trust

Trust is the willingness of a party to be vulnerable to the actions of another party based on the expectation that the other will perform a particular action important to the trustor, irrespective of the ability to monitor or control that other party
Mayer et al., 1995, p. 712
Stacks Image 46
Game about Trust supports organisations to create a strategy for (re-)building trust by means of a self-analysis. The game is suitable for trust issues (1) within an organisation, (2) between an organisation and its partners or other external parties, or (3) on the scale of society at large.

Game about Trust was developed in collaboration with EuroRSCG Bikker & TUDelft and lately redeveloped by Marjoleine, building upon experiences of applying it in advisory trajectories in healthcare companies.

Delta Game

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein
Stacks Image 52
The Delta game is a 'serious board game'. It supports employees of Ministries, municipalities, provinces, water institutes, and design, architecture or landscape agencies to exchange and update knowledge about sustainable (re-)development of urban and sub-urban areas in the Netherlands. By means of this game, employees coming from totally different worlds can get to know each others’ perspectives. Thereby the game sets a fruitful base for collaboration in public area (re-)development.

This game was developed with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, in close collaboration with photographer, designer and text writer Martien Versteeg. More information about the Dutch Ministerial Delta program can be found on the website of Martien Versteegh, Donkigotte.

Sam de Waterman

Ik ben Sam, Sam de Waterman. Ik drink water zoveel als ik kan. Doe jij met mij mee?
Sam de Waterman
Stacks Image 61
Sam the Waterman is a method that helps Dutch children aged 4-8 to develop water drinking routines, together with the adults around them (parents, school teachers, caring professionals, etc.). The method consists of a reading book, a drinking cup, audio (song), colourings, and support in applying the method (instructions and Facebook).

Take a look at the Sam the Waterman Facebook page for more information and details, or see the video below of our collaboration with GGD Zeeland.
Stacks Image 124

Frame Reflection Lab

In a conversation we can understand one another better if we elicit the underlying values and assumptions in which our rationale roots
Schön, 1983 (no literal quote this time)
Stacks Image 67
The frame reflection lab (FRL) is a reflection tool that supports people in active thinking and opinion forming about synthetic biology (synbio) in a playful way. The FRL is a blended learning environment: it consists of online video narratives that each show a different 'framing' of synbio. Session participants discuss and analyse the videos in an 'offline' workshop, enabling participants to discover their own vision on the role of this new technology in society as well. The framings shared by the online video stories are based on two central questions in the philosophy of technology:
  • Are human beings and technology to be two separate worlds or one merged world? And
  • Do human beings have the most power in where our future will be heading to, or technology?

The FRL is developed at VU Athena, in collaboration with Frank Kupper, with the funding of Synenergene.

See the video's here:
What is synbio?
Synbio & the future

See the workshop timeline in the image below.
Stacks Image 135

Opinion Lab

I think my dad sees it different than I do. But that's ok!
Girl aged 10 (partipant of an Opinion Lab test session at Nemo, 2015)
Stacks Image 73
In the near future it will be more common that societal actors are asked to engage in dialogues about science and technology. Therefore our next generation citizens need to feel equipped to engage in (amongst others) processes of deliberation on science and technology. Science learning spaces like science centers can take a role in preparing youngsters for this 'techno-scientifically deliberative citizenship'.

The Opinion Lab (OL) is an exhibit prototype that supports parents and their children aged 8 to 12 in forming an opinion about synthetic biology, by means of several carefully designed playful tools such as a puzzle, audio, and visualisations. In the design we applied principles of frame reflection as well as opinions of synthetic biology that were found earlier in Dutch citizen dialogues on synthetic biology.

Conference session at PCST2016
Article in Roots
See the about me page.


Stacks Image 137
Welcome here! I am Marjoleine (Georgette) van der Meij.

I am a Post-doc Lecturer at VU Athena, specialised in designing playful tools for learning and reflection. This is a sub-field of the field Science Communication. Furthermore, I work as a freelance consultant on any issue where playful reflection in a context of science or technology communication is desired.

This website covers many aspects of my work.

Would you like to get in touch? You can find me here:

Public lectures and conference sessions:

My (scientific and ‘popular’) publications:


Mail: info (at) mgvandermeij (dot) nl